Saluting the Polk County Utilities Bio-Wizards

May 17, 2024
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Polk County Utilities Bio-Wizards win Florida Wastewater Olympics

Congratulations to the Polk County Utilities Bio-Wizards, the winners of the 2024 Florida Operations Challenge, and team members Coach Chuck Nichols, Team Captain Jeff Goolsby, Maintenance Specialist Mandi Hebert, Process Specialist Ed Clark, Collections Specialist Cody Diehl and Electrical Expert Dave McGrotty.

In claiming first place, the Bio-Wizards competed against other Florida teams in five challenge events:

  • Process Control: A written test and the operation of a wastewater treatment plant via simulation software.
  • Maintenance: Testing the skill of the team in severe weather conditions resulting in a lift station outage.
  • Laboratory: Teams perform analysis and calculations on a wastewater sample.
  • Safety Response: Teams respond to a collapsed worker in a manhole (confined space).
  • Collection Systems: Teams simulate connecting a four-inch sewer lateral to an eight-inch gravity main while maintaining service and programming an automatic sampler.

“The Bio-Wizards not only win competitions, but they also serve a valuable role as stewards of our profession. They perform public outreach, and they introduce career opportunities to high school students who are looking for a career path that offers growth and security opportunities.”

Tamara Richardson, Polk County Utilities Director
Polk County BioWizards 1

The wastewater industry deeply appreciates all the competitors and the FWEA for making the challenge possible.

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